It is an increasingly protagonist of press and of television, radio and online journalism. For better or for worse. In the articles that illustrate the vices and virtues, but also in the advertising pages (commercials or banners or whatever you want) that more and more politicians would to forbid or at least to regulate, in the content and/or in the speading, in a more convincing way than now.
But how information about gaming is evolving, especially in the so called “general-interest” press, the one that turns to million of people?And it is a “correct” information, or ruined by prejudices and misinformation?Let’s speak the operators of the field, starting from Enzo Iacopino, national president of the Association of Journalists.
During last months the game with cash prizes is the subject of a press campaign and of varoius press reports, on the newspapers and on the television: why, in your opinion, this increased attention?
“I can not say in a scientific way from what it results, because I haven’t studied the subject, but I have the feeling, as a citizen rather than as a journalist, that the attention of the society on this matter is considerably increased, so the newspapers report this fact and follow it. Sometimes, as happens also in other fields, not with the strictness that would be necessary. And this leads to the danger that negative messages can be send, for example if we emphasize the fact that somebody won playing ten euros and that just gaming can completely change our life, rather than being a tool that brings a benefit to the State, when of course we talk about regular gaming!”
On the whole what do you think is the current image of gaming that is described by the general-interest press?
“When somebody writes what I said before is true that we run the mentioned danger, but honestly these are not bad news and I think that this need to give good news is not negative. But I think that we should not follow the trends about this matter and that we must realize the danger to convey negative stimulus to the people. Moreover, often the press talks about the lawlessness and it is true that the crime, which aims to do business, can be interested in legal gaming: the crime always tries to lay its hands on where there are significant economic benefits. But emphasizing the danger of money laundering just in the legal gaming field it seems to me a little bit funny. Everybody knows that the percentages of winning are to the detriment of the player and the crime is educated, probably it tries to launder money in the illegal gaming! Moreover the interest of some families of the Mafia in the business of videopoker (and not of the legal slots) is confirmed by various judicial inquiries.”
From several directions people is asking for limiting or abolishing the gaming advertisement, do you agree with the “prohibitionist” planning in general and, in particular, in this case?
“If we really want to abolish the gaming advertisement, then really abolish it, even the one on tobacco. We know very well that it is formally forbidden but also that companies found some loopholes to avoid it. Or, then, why we don’t forbid also the alcohol advertisement? When I still had the joy of having some free time, for years I gave a hand to Don Mario Picchi, the first priest to brought in Italy the experience of the therapeutic communities for the drug addicts. During a conference a guy made us an objection: you fight a lot against drugs, but do you know how many people die from alcohol? If the State has to deal with the mental damages, he has to deal also with the physical ones, because every year there are thousand of deaths from alcohol abuse. But of course I am ready to consider any objection and comment for or against this prohibition on gaming advertisement. This is the land of the know-all people, but I don’t want to be one of them: these are my opinions, and now I am speaking more as a private citizen then as president of the Association of Journalists.”